I waited an unreasonable amount of time to finally watch season five of Community, and it made me feel whelmed.
Here are some thoughts I had while watching the thirteen episodes.
- They usually excel at concept episodes (the annual paintball battle, etc), but too many concept episodes in a row made it seem forced and not that funny.
- The G.I. Joe episode was outstanding and felt like classic Community, and the Ass-Crack Bandit was way funnier than I expected it to be (mostly because of Troy (Donald Glover)'s performance).
- Prof. Duncan is such an underused character. John Oliver is genius in the role and should have been used way more in previous seasons (instead of disappearing after season two).
- I get that they introduced Prof. Hickey as Pierce's replacement, but was it even necessary to replace Pierce? I don't think so.
- Troy's last episode was surprisingly emotionally. While I'm sure Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino is doing splendidly without Community, I'm not convinced the show did well without him.
- I like that they refer to season four as the "gas leak" year because no one likes acknowledging that season.
- The Dean is indeand one of the best parts of the show, whether he's half-naked and rocking back and forth in his office, or delivering an awkward peanut bar rap.
- And Chang hasn't Chang-ed (neither has the show's mastery over puns), which is fine but also sort of boring?
- Holy guest stars, Batman. David Cross, Nathan Fillion, LeVar Burton, etc. Once a show starts bringing in a guest star every episode, you know it's on it's way out.
- The last episode had a The Goonies quality (looking for lost treasure to save the school), but after twelve episodes of high concept plot-lines, it didn't quite go out with a bang.
While the fifth season does return the show to its roots and becomes super-meta, it didn't feel the same as earlier seasons (season three was my favourite). I guess it's worth a watch, if you happen to have the time, but you can see why they weren't renewed on a traditional channel (moving, instead, to Netflix for season six).